L.A. County sets new daily record with 45,000 coronavirus cases

Los Angeles County reached another daily record of coronavirus cases as health officials on Sunday reported more than 45,000 people tested positive for the virus.

The county recorded 45,584 new cases amid the ongoing surge in infections driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, according to figures released Sunday by the county’s Department of Public Health. The department also reported 13 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the county to 27,785 since the start of the pandemic. In all, nearly 2 million people in the county have been infected with the virus.

The updated numbers from the county underscored anew how the spread of the virus has exploded with the arrival of the Omicron variant. With an average of nearly 115,000 people being tested each day over the past seven days, more than 20% of people are testing positive for the virus, the county said.

The department also reported 3,364 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday. Experts have stressed that although caseloads are higher than during last winter’s peak, when L.A. County was recording about 16,000 new cases a day, fewer people are now becoming severely ill from the Omicron variant.

“Our hearts remain with those families experiencing the sorrow of losing those they love to COVID,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County’s director of public health, in a statement Saturday. “As the surge continues, we ask residents and businesses to continue following the public health safety measures that we know reduce spread and keep people safe. This includes wearing a medical grade mask that is more protective against the Omicron variant and not spending time around others who are unmasked. These upgraded masks can be a surgical mask or an N95 or KN95 respirator mask.”

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